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Posts Tagged ‘Seesmic Desktop’

HootSuite Acquires Seesmic

HootSuite, the social media management system, has acquired Seesmic, who were innovators in mobile, desktop and web applications for social media, for an undisclosed amount.

Seesmic chief executive Loic Le Meur had to lay off half of his staff back in March, and this buyout from HootSuite is partially a talent acquisition for the remaining roster. Users of Seesmic software will be slowly ported over to HootSuite, who say that this buyout will “further reinforce HootSuite’s position in the upper left quadrant of the Twitter Partner graph”.

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What Do I Want From My Ideal Twitter Client? Plugins

My moan about the latest build of Seesmic Desktop yesterday got me thinking about what it is that I need from the perfect Twitter client.

The biggest problem is the things that I like and want – and, conversely, all that stuff I don’t need or want to see – might be at a complete polar opposite to the rest of that application’s userbase. It’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time, but if pleasing most of the people means pissing me off, any software development team would be insane to do what I want at the expense of everybody else.

But then it hit me: plugins.

Those of you who blog and have spent a little time fooling around with WordPress will be well-versed in the multitude of plugins that are available for the publishing application. There are plugins for almost everything, from comment and spam management to analytical tools and database backups. Add-ons have been huge on Firefox, too.

Wouldn’t it be great if somebody developed a pretty basic Twitter client that you could configure exactly how you liked by downloading and implementing any of a series of plugins?

For example, I’d like to see plugins for:

  • Backing up, and being able to restore my profile and all of my tweets (including the metadata)
  • Analytics: it would be nice to see things like which users retweet my posts the most, who I retweet the most, who I reply to the most (and the other way around), all within the app
  • A way to edit my tweets
  • Tweet scheduling
  • Spam filters
  • Keyword filters
  • An improved direct message system
  • A variation on Facebook’s suggestions system, that alerted you to when people who you used to communicate with regularly have dropped off the radar

And so on. Not everything here is important to everybody, but that’s kind of the point. If you wanted, you could just stay with the stripped-down, basic build of the client, maybe just adding the one or two plugins that you wanted. Other people could (and would) add dozens.

And yes, some apps and websites already do some of these things, but if you could download and action everything YOU wanted via plugins, you’d never have to go anywhere else.

Ever again.

Believe me: the first company that comes up with something like this – particularly if they get Twitter on board and build a community around open-source plugins – is on to a huge, huge slice of win. I mean, Twitter exactly how YOU want it – what’s not to like?

Seesmic Desktop: When Bad Updates Happen To Great Software

Seesmic Desktop: When Bad Updates Happen To Great SoftwareEarlier this morning, I loaded up Seesmic Desktop and was greeted with a pop-up window informing me that a new build of the software, version 0.7, was available. I like Seesmic Desktop a lot, and I like updates, so I happily clicked on the button to proceed.

Ten minutes later, I’d made the decision to roll back to my previous installation of Seesmic Desktop, and in this article I’m going to tell you why.

1. It Defaults To Twitter’s Rebuild Of the Retweet

Seesmic Desktop 0.7 replaces the old-style, organic retweet (RT @, via etc), which many of us have come to know and love, with Twitter’s ill-advised, controversial and poorly-implemented Project Retweet system.

I don’t like these new-style retweets for a number of reasons, and consequently rarely use them, and now I find that in the latest build of Desktop the software defaults to the new kind of retweet. Seesmic has added a feature to the software which lets you retweet organically using a new function called ‘quotes’, but that now takes two clicks to activate, instead of just one as before. That might seem trivial, but this extra step means everything takes twice as long. I’ve also built a habit of just clicking on the retweet button, which is something I would have to start to undo.

Yes, I could switch over completely to the new-style retweet, but given how tweets submitted in this way rarely even show up in people’s streams or mentions folders the majority of the time (certainly when using clients), I would consider that yet another step backwards.

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Seesmic's Web-Based App Offers Hope For Deskbound Twitter Junkies

SeesmicThere was an interesting article on the Digg blog last week where Mark Trammell, who is the ‘User Experience Architect’ at the popular social bookmarking site, writes about the problem of Internet Explorer 6 – namely that despite being eight years old, and superseded by two entirely new versions, it accounts for 10 per cent of all Digg users. Anyone with experience in web design and blogging templates will know what a colossal pain in the rear IE6 compatibility can be.

To reduce this strain on the Digg programming team, Trammell had considered blocking IE6 users entirely, particularly as they only make up about 1 per cent of actual interactivity on the site (diggs, comments etc). This seemed drastic, however, and lead Trammell and his team to ponder exactly why these visitors continue to use IE6.

So he asked them. The results are likely pretty obvious to anybody who has worked in any kind of government business (or other firms/institutions that are slow to adopt new technologies) – while only 56 per cent of those polled claimed to use IE6 at home, a whopping 90 per cent said they used it at work. When pressed as to why, only 7 per cent said it was because they preferred IE6 over other browser options – meantime, 37 per cent said they couldn’t upgrade on their work PC as they didn’t have administrator privileges, while 32 per cent couldn’t upgrade because they’d been told not to.

Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Seesmic Desktop – I use it almost exclusively, with the exception of Dabr when I’m on the road. Seesmic does loads of things really, really well, and I was pretty excited when they announced their new web-based version of the app on Friday.

Seesmic Web

Check it out here – you log on using your Twitter details via OAuth. I’ve had a good play around with it. I like it. It’s perfect for work use. Sure, this isn’t much beyond an alpha-level release right now, and the functionality is fairly minimal (certainly compared to the downloadable Seesmic client) but this is typical of the way Seesmic and especially founder Loïc Le Meur operates – he’ll push a product onto the market fairly early on and then shape it to the desires of the user base. And as a concept it works really, really well.

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Seesmic Desktop 0.3 Released – Now With Full Support, ‘Smart Accounts’

Version 0.3 of Seesmic Desktop has just been released, and with it a bunch of super-cool new features, including:

  • Multi-Account Posting with Smart Account Enabling. You can now send tweets to multiple accounts simultaneously. Moreover, Seesmic’s new ‘smart account’ feature automatically works out which account you should be replying from, based on whom you are replying to. Clever!
  • Authenticated Integration. This is the one I’m the most pleased about – you can now add your login information to Seesmic so that any links you post using the service are automatically tracked at’s website. VERY useful.
  • Services Panel. The new Services Panel allows you to manage your accounts for sending images, and Seesmic now supports Pikchur, Posterous, TwitPic, Twitgoo and Yfrog.

Version 0.3 also includes the following user interface modifications:

  • The messaging panel auto-minimises until you start entering a tweet, which maximises the space available for your streams
  • It also includes an inline reminder of the account(s) you are posting from
  • Replies have been enabled in your Facebook friends’ avatars, so you can quickly add comments
  • An added “Cancel” button to erase your messages in the message panel
  • Updated scrolling arrows for enhanced browsing
  • Ensuring all replies appear in your integrated timeline

Check out this video, featuring Seesmic founder Loïc Le Meur for more detail on these new features:


Click here to download version 0.3 (direct download; requires Adobe AIR; works on Windows, Mac, Linux).

Further Information

To keep up to date with the latest Seesmic news, and for any questions or problems you might have, I recommend following @askseesmic on Twitter. The account is managed by Loic and John Yamasaki, and they’re an incredibly friendly and helpful team.

For tips on how I configure my Seesmic Desktop, check out my article, “How To Configure Seesmic Desktop For Fun And Profit“.

How To Configure Seesmic Desktop For Fun And Profit

I had planned (and hoped) to do a video tutorial for Seesmic Desktop, but I just haven’t had the time. However, I know enough people are waiting for me to do something, and I get enough questions on a day-to-day basis about Seesmic, that I felt it wasn’t fair to keep these folk waiting any longer. So, to compromise, and along the lines of my tutorial about TweetDeck, here we go.

I first reviewed Seesmic Desktop in April of this year. Back then, I felt the software had a lot of potential, but was far too buggy on the Windows platform. In late May, version 0.2.1 of the software was released, and with it several significant improvements. So much so, in fact, that I switched from TweetDeck, my de facto Twitter client of choice, completely to Seesmic Desktop, and haven’t looked back.

If you’re unfamiliar with Seesmic Desktop, or wish to know more about the pros and cons of the software, please read my most recent article before continuing with this tutorial.

It’s also important you have the latest version of the software, which at the time of writing is 0.2.1. (Note: this is a direct download. If this is your first install of Seesmic Desktop, you will need to install Adobe AIR first. Adobe AIR works on Windows, OSX and Linux.)

Let’s Get The Semantics Out Of The Way

  1. I define ‘fun’ as ‘enjoying your time on Twitter’, and
  2. With ‘profit’, I am referring explicitly to the spiritual gain you will make from the rewarding relationships Seesmic Desktop will help you build with your followers. This is not to be confused with financial gain; that said, because Seesmic greatly improves the Twitter experience, certainly in terms of engagement, this is a realistic possibility.

The Setup

Samsung NC10Regular readers will be aware that I do all of my Twittering (and everything else) via a Samsung NC10 netbook. The NC10 is a fantastic computer that is powerful enough for all of my needs, and it’s important to note that it has a 10-inch screen with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels. This means that while I get significant benefit from the way I configure Seesmic Desktop (and, indeed, the way I configured TweetDeck), readers with larger screens (i.e., on a standard-sized laptop or desktop computer) will be able to tweak Seesmic for even greater rewards.

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Seesmic Desktop Now Has A Spellchecker; TweetDeck's Tragedy Is (Almost) Complete

Long-term readers of this blog will recall that I have repeatedly sung the praises of TweetDeck, and it’s certainly true that this Twitter client has significantly improved the way a lot of us interact and engage with our networks.

However, a few weeks back TweetDeck started giving me a lot of problems. Specifically, my groups, which I set up to closely monitor my favourite Twitterers, were acting all kinds of crazy. Some accounts – including big guns like @Mashable, @Wired and @NYTimes – stopped showing up completely (not just in groups), and it got to a point where it was almost unusable. It’s a shame, as the rest of the functionality, and the robustness of TweetDeck itself, continues to appeal. There’s no doubt that TweetDeck set the benchmark for what could be done, and I’m sure that they’ll continue to make improvements to the product with each release.

About six weeks ago, I reviewed Seesmic Desktop. At that time, Desktop had several large bugs that meant it wasn’t a viable alternative to TweetDeck for me, even though I liked a lot of the other features.

Seesmic Desktop

Since then, Seesmic Desktop has gone through a few major upgrades, and I started testing it again during version 0.2, and really liked what I saw. The groups (called ‘userlists’) function is far easier to manage and administer than it ever was on TweetDeck, which even when it was working had some irritating glitches, and many ‘power-users’ have stated that groups stop working entirely above a certain number of users (about five thousand, I believe).

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Review: Seesmic Desktop. The TweetDeck Killer?

There’s a bit of a buzz today about Seesmic Desktop, a new*, Adobe AIR-powered desktop application that some are suggesting might have enough va-va-voom to see off TweetDeck.

Seesmic Desktop

* Seesmic purchased Twhirl in April of 2008. Seesmic Desktop is essentially the new version of Twhirl.

It’s a free download that requires Adobe AIR and works with both PCs and Macs. You need to register with Seesmic first, and you can do this here.

In this review I will look at the PC version, using my Samsung NC10 netbook.


Installation is a breeze. Add and authorise your Twitter account and away you go. It also supports multiple Twitter accounts, a feature currently lacking in TweetDeck.

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